Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

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Updated January 19, 2023

Looking for a Associate Degree in Criminal Justice in Illinois? You should consider these top-tier programs and jobs in the Criminal Justice field.

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Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Earning an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice in Illinois

We have compiled a list of the best degrees in Illinois for criminal justice. These are the degrees that you should consider pursuing if you want to gain a highly respected degree that can prepare you for a long and successful career. Associate programs can be applied to a variety of fields. An associate degree can open doors for employment in advanced positions.

With an associate degree, individuals typically earn $963 per week. This amounts to $3,852 per month and $50,076 annually. With an associate degree, the unemployment rate is 4.6%, versus 6.2% for those with a high school degree.

Criminal Justice Associate Programs for You

Working and Living in Illinois in the Criminal Justice Profession

A criminal justice degree is a great option if you want to work in the field of law enforcement, private security services or corrections, or correctional healthcare. Criminal justice degree-holders get training and hands-on experience on how to handle criminal cases such as robbery, burglary, larceny, and fraud. They learn how to link evidence at crime scenes with suspects. They also understand how the judicial system works from start to finish.

The median salary in Illinois is $46,630 a year, or $22.42 per hour. All 5,618,830 employees in Illinois fall under this stat. The lowest 10% of earners in the state take home about $24,470, while the highest 10% make $103,490, according to the BLS. By contrast, the following lists the average earnings for detectives and criminal investigators in Illinois.

Key

Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Illinois
Detectives and Criminal Investigators Nationally
All Occupations in Illinois
All Occupations Nationally

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Illinois and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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In terms of cost of living, Illinois ranks number 13 among 51 states (including Washington, D.C.). In the U.S., the cost of living index measures the national average cost of living against specific states. As an example, the U.S. average is 100, and all locations within the U.S. experience either a higher or lower cost of living than the average (either more expensive or less expensive). Illinois' cost of living index is 91.4, which is -8.6% lower than the national average. Students considering relocating to Illinois can use the cost of living comparison to find the right fit for their situation.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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A 2.5% growth rate is projected for the detectives and criminal investigators profession over the next decade. The BLS projects that the occupation's total employment will change from 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 in 2030. Entry-level education for these positions generally consists of a high school diploma or equivalent. A typical job title would be:

  • Detectives and criminal investigators
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Deputy United States Marshal
  • FBI Investigator
  • Homicide Detective
  • Narcotics Detective
  • Narcotics Investigator
  • Police Detective

Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

#1 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Black Hawk College

  • Moline, IL
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Moline, Illinois, Black Hawk College provides online education through an AAS in criminal justice program. Students can build their knowledge of the field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Upon graduating, students can apply their course credits towards a bachelor's degree.

Enrollees benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. Distance learners can further benefit from virtual services such as library access, writing workshops, and academic tutoring. Students who attend the school on campus have easier access to campus amenities and professors' offices.

Typically, students are awarded about $4,876 in financial aid. Students can explore numerous funding opportunities, with 57% of enrollees receiving some form of financial aid and 10% opting for student loans.

Black Hawk College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, two-year

Location: Moline, Illinois

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $7,500

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,650

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,500
Out-of-state
$7,650
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,743
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
71% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Triton College

  • River Grove, IL
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking for a flexible online AAS in criminal justice administration should consider Triton College. Enrollees gain foundational knowledge and skills relevant to the field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Students seeking further education can apply their credits to a bachelor's degree.

Students receive guidance for the duration of their studies and can access career services and academic advising. Online students can further access virtual library services and academic tutoring. It is easier for students attending the school on campus to access campus facilities and professors' offices.

The institution reports the average financial aid award as $5,536. The college reports that 63% of students are awarded financial aid, with 4% awarded student loans.

Triton College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, two-year

Location: River Grove, Illinois

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,001

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $12,542

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,410
Out-of-state
$13,050
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
8,819
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
75% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Illinois Valley Community College

  • Oglesby, IL
  • 2 years
  • Campus

The AAS in criminal justice at Illinois Valley Community College equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a criminal justice-specific career. Typically, students can apply their associate degree credits towards future educational endeavors, like a bachelor's degree.

The college connects students with resources such as academic advising and career services. They can also access virtual library services and academic tutoring. Those who attend the school on campus can more easily access campus facilities and professors' offices.

Criminal justice students can expect to receive an average of $5,130 in financial aid. Approximately 66% of all incoming students receive financial aid, with 5% receiving student loans.

Illinois Valley Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, two-year

Location: Oglesby, Illinois

Student-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,800

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,760

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,000
Out-of-state
$14,000
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,413
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
73% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

Lake Land College

  • Mattoon, IL
  • 2 years
  • Campus

The criminal justice program at Lake Land College equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a criminal justice-specific career. Upon completion, students can apply their credits towards a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

While enrolled, students benefit from institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising. The institution also provides online enrollees with virtual library services and academic tutoring resources, including writing tutoring. Attending classes on campus makes it easier for students to access the school's facilities and professors' offices.

On average, students receive $5,044 in financial aid. The college notes that 77% of all students receive financial aid awards, with 9% receiving loans.

Lake Land College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, two-year

Location: Mattoon, Illinois

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,989

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $12,791

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,139
Out-of-state
$12,940
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,862
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Illinois

City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J. Daley College

  • Chicago, IL
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Students in the criminal justice program at City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J. Daley College benefit from industry-relevant coursework, preparing them for future careers in criminal justice. Upon completion, students can apply their credits towards a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

While enrolled, learners can access college resources geared towards student success. Online students can further access virtual library services and academic tutoring. Those who attend the school on campus can more easily access campus facilities and professors' offices.

Learners benefit from significant financial support, receiving an average of $5,238 in financial aid awards. Of its enrollees, the college reports that 60% receive financial aid, and 1% receive loans.

City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J. Daley College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, two-year

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Student-Faculty Ratio: 30-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,216

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,544

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,520
Out-of-state
$14,430
Retention Rate
60%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,929
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Financing an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice

There are many benefits to receiving financial aid to pay for college. You can receive financial aid through scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs. Students may also qualify for federal and private student loans. It is a good idea to research ahead of time and find out what types of financial aid may be available at the colleges you are considering.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Illinois

It is common for universities to charge varying tuition rates in Illinois. There are some similarities that exist among institutions of both the public and the private sectors. If you are considering attending a public institution, you may find the information below helpful.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Illinois vs. National Average

Key

Illinois
National Average

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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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How about attending a private college or university? Typically, private schools charge a higher tuition rate. Please refer to the following graph to learn more about the private colleges in Illinois.

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Illinois vs. National Average

Key

Illinois
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

Have you considered taking on student debt to pay for school? Prior to obtaining a loan, you should consider some important factors.

Please review the data below to learn what students typically borrow.

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On-Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees

Pros

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.

Cons

  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The cost and size of classes are two of the most significant differences between online and on-campus programs. In general, online programs are advantageous because they are flexible, affordable, and convenient. On average, on-campus degrees cost more because of student fees. Attending classes has its advantages as well as its disadvantages.

Top Criminal Justice Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Illinois Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
New York Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Associate, Bachelors, Masters
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

There are several differences that exist between public and private institutions. A private institution is generally more expensive than a public one. The cost of education at public universities is often offset by grants and scholarships. For those with high GPAs or SAT scores, private institutions often offer merit scholarships to them.

It is common for private colleges to feature smaller class sizes, allowing students to connect with professors directly. Listed below are some pros and cons of attending a private college as opposed to one that is public.

Pros and Cons

Private

  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight

Public

  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

In Illinois, how much do detectives and criminal investigators make?

Detectives and criminal investigators earn a mean annual salary of $96,300.

Are criminal justice graduates in demand?

The total number of detectives and criminal investigators is projected to change by 2.5% from 2020 to 2030.

Can I study for an associate in criminal justice online?

You can get an online associate degree in criminal justice. As a matter of fact, most schools offer a certain amount of online instruction in today's environment.

In order to successfully complete an associate degree, how long does it take?

The average completion of an associate degree is two years. The completion time may vary for part-time students.

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